Happiness Chemicals and How to Hack Them - How to Boost Your Happiness with Science-Backed Chemicals - aldohappy.com

Science-Backed Happiness Chemicals and How to Hack Them

Feeling down? Stressed out? Science has the answer to boosting your happiness levels!

Certain chemicals in the brain are responsible for your mood, and by understanding how they work, you can take steps to increase your happiness.

This blog post will discuss the happiness chemicals and how to hack them to boost your mood.

What Are the Happiness Chemicals and How to Hack Them?

The happiness chemicals are a group of hormones that play an important role in your mental health and well-being. There are four of these happy brain chemicals, and they are easy to remember using the acronym “dose“: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins.

an informative picture explaining the DOSE acronym as standing for dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins

Dopamine: The Reward Chemical

Dopamine is often called the “reward chemical” because it is released when you experience pleasure and reward.

an informative image that explains how to get more dopamine

Dopamine is perhaps the easiest chemical to hack because there are many things you can do to get a dopamine hit. These things include:

  • Eating healthy foods: Certain foods contain nutrients that help to promote dopamine production. These include omega-rich foods, dark chocolate, and green tea. (Delicious food that is unhealthy will also release dopamine, but the effect is more transitory, so you should limit their consumption.)
  • Performing self-care: Taking care of yourself is vital for your mental health. Taking a long bath, getting a massage or pedicure, spending time in nature, or reading your favorite book can all help to increase dopamine levels.
  • Checking items off your to-do list: The simple act of checking an item off a to-do list releases dopamine and gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Oxytocin: The Love Hormone

Oxytocin is called the “love hormone” or “cuddle hormone” because it is released during physical contact and social bonding.

an informative image that explains how to get more oxytocin

Oxytocin has a calming effect and can help to reduce stress levels. Some ways to increase oxytocin production include:

  • Hugging: Hugging someone you care about releases oxytocin, lowers your blood pressure, slows your heart rate, and makes you feel happy.
  • Spending time with friends and family: Spending time with loved ones promotes emotional well-being, relationship building, and bonding.
  • Giving out compliments: Complimenting someone is a simple way to make them feel good and make you feel good too.
  • Playing with a pet: Pets provide mental stimulation and exercise, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, and trigger a general sense of love and companionship.

Serotonin: The Mood Stabilizer

Serotonin is known as the “mood stabilizer” because it is responsible for feelings of well-being and contentment.

an informative image that explains how to get more serotonin

Some simple things that increase serotonin levels include:

  • Soaking in the sunlight: One of the best ways to battle seasonal depression is to get as much sunlight as possible, even if it’s artificial light. The sun triggers vitamin D and serotonin production, boosting mood and helping you feel calm and focused.
  • Expressing gratitude: Focusing on positive thoughts and experiences helps reduce stress and improve your overall outlook on life. Research has shown that people who regularly express gratitude are happier and more satisfied with their lives. Additionally, gratitude has been linked to better physical health, increased resilience in the face of stress, and improved sleep quality.
  • Meditating: Regular meditation helps to clear your mind and increase focus. It also helps to control anxiety.

Endorphins: The Pain Killer

Endorphins are sometimes called the “pain killer” hormones because they are released in response to pain or stress. They also have mood-enhancing benefits, such as reducing anxiety and depression and leading to euphoria.

an informative image that explains how to get more endorphins

To chemically hack the release of endorphins and live healthier lives, do these activities:

  • Exercise: Regular exercise helps to maintain good mental health, regulate emotions, and improve mood. Exercising builds muscle strength and flexibility, reduces inflammation and pain sensitivity, and helps to enhance the quality of sleep. Amazingly, after lengthy or intense exercise, you can develop a runner’s high where you feel unstoppable!
  • Laugh: Laughter is truly the best medicine! Laughing brings joy to the present moment and can also reduce pain and boost your immune system.
  • Use essential oils: Essential oils can help to improve your mood and relieve stress. Two great choices to use on your body are lavender oil, known for its calming effects, and peppermint oil, which increases energy.

Most of the listed happiness hacks boost more than one happiness chemical. For example, exercise increases levels of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. Laughter has a similar effect.

Moreover, the happiness chemicals work in conjunction with each other. For example, a lack of serotonin may be to blame when you’re feeling blue. But boosting your serotonin levels won’t have much effect if you’re also low in dopamine. That’s because dopamine helps to regulate serotonin.

So, the right combination of happiness chemicals is key to maintaining a balanced mood and improving your overall mental health.

Do Happy: Daily Happier Habits App

Want an easy way to hack the happiness chemicals? Try the Do Happy: Daily Happier Habits App!

The Do Happy App is based on positive psychology principles and helps you increase your happiness chemicals by encouraging you to do simple activities and achieve small wins every day.

Here are some of the ways the app can help you easily get your daily DOSE of happiness:

Dopamine: The Reward Chemical

Every day, the app presents you with a Do Happy Task of the Day. When you complete your task, a blue star appears on that date on your accountability calendar. You also earn happyStars which leads to a happy status in your profile. Completing a task, therefore, feels very rewarding. You feel motivated to continue completing Do Happy tasks every day.

Do Happy Daily Happier Habits app screens showing the progression of completing a daily Do Happy Task

Taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to get more dopamine.

Four days each week, your Do Happy task is devoted to self-care. One of these days consists of a random self-care task like taking a break to walk outside, reading a book, or pampering yourself.

For the other three days, your task is your selected self-care challenge task of exercising, drinking enough water, sleeping enough, eating breakfast, or meditating. These are all scientifically-proven ways to increase happiness, and the goal is to build these good habits over 3 to 6 months.

Oxytocin: The Love Hormone

Want better relationships and to feel more socially connected? Keep in touch with your family, friends, neighbors, classmates, and colleagues, and cultivate these relationships with the Important People Organizer.

The Important People Organizer beautifully displays all the important people in your life. You can easily add notes and special occasions about them, so you always remember their important details and dates.

Do Happy Daily Happier Habits app screens showcasing the Important People Organizer

The app encourages you to spend time with your important people by sending you reminders to keep in touch with your loved ones on their important dates. Moreover, two days each week, your Do Happy Task of the Day is devoted to relationship maintenance.

The app also has social sharing capabilities to easily share your completed tasks with friends and family on social media (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp). All these ways of staying connected will fill you with oxytocin.

Serotonin: The Mood Stabilizer

Use your Do Happy Journal to cultivate gratitude and write about what makes you happy every day. The Do Happy Journal focuses your thoughts on 10 elements of happiness and enables you to attach up to five of your favorite photos from the day. Reflecting and then writing in and reviewing your journal releases serotonin and leads to a positive outlook and feelings of well-being.

Do Happy Daily Happier Habits app screens showcasing the Do Happy Journal

Endorphins: The Pain Killer

On days when the app doesn’t remind you to reach out to a loved one, it sends you an inspirational quote or joke to help you smile or laugh. Unexpected laughter from reading one of these jokes is one of those little things that most people are happily surprised by. It’s a small thing that can make a big difference in your day.

noon joke push notification from the Do Happy Daily Happier Habits app that says, "Something to make you smile - I can hear music coming out of my printer. I think the paper's jamming' again."

Combinations of Happiness Chemicals

The Do Happy App is unique because of its focus on kindness as a key to happiness.

Performing acts of kindness leads to a positive chemical response of boosting dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin levels. One day a week, the app assigns a random act of kindness for the Do Happy Task of the Day. On the home screen, the app also includes a list of bonus acts of kindness that can be completed anytime.

The app’s core features — the Do Happy Task of the Day, accountability calendar, Important People Organizer, and Do Happy Journal — were thoughtfully designed to complement each other and maximize the app’s effectiveness in helping users to become happier and kinder people. Together, they provide the perfect combination of happiness chemicals to positively impact your mental health every day.

Final Thoughts

Using the Do Happy App is one of the easiest ways to get a little DOSE of happy every day. The app’s focus on self-care, relationships, and acts of kindness provides the perfect combination of happiness chemicals to boost your happiness levels naturally.

Try the Do Happy App and see how great it makes you feel!

Sharing is caring!